2013 Ford Focus ST: Yosemite National Park, Part One
May 30, 2013
Our 2013 Ford Focus ST wasn't my first choice for a road trip to Yosemite National Park. It's got high-performance summer tires, and there was a possibility of both thunderstorms and snowy mountain roads. The Recaro sport seats have gotten mixed reviews from the staff, and they made me nervous, too. I also had two passengers and the stuff we'd need for four days of hiking so I knew it'd be a tight squeeze.
Coolers, Camelbaks, hiking boots, clothes, toiletries, cameras, hiking poles, and three days' worth of meals would all have to fit in the Focus. Oh yeah, and three adults. There were a total of six of us, so we split up into two cars (the other car was a 2009 Civic). We needed half the Ford's backseat for some of the bags, but with some strategy it all fit and we hit the road at 8:00 a.m. sharp.
My long-time friend Greg took up the other half of the backseat. When I offered him the front seat for the journey, he declined, observing that the Recaro's lateral bolsters were way too confining for someone of his size: 6 feet, 4 inches. From the backseat, he reported, "The rear headrests go all the way up! Put that in the story!"
As much as I enjoy our Ford Focus ST's Recaros when driving fast on back roads, they aren't road trip seats. I'm 5 foot 9 inches tall and I weigh 165 pounds, and these seats shouldn't dig into my upper back, but they do.
A quick stop for gas outside of Yosemite revealed some rain clouds, but we soldiered on hoping to get in a short hike on our first day in the park.
Despite forecasts of 77-degree, sunny weather, we arrived to a steady rain. None of us had prepped for hiking in wet weather and a rainy hike in a t-shirt and shorts is miserable, so we decided to drive the scenic route through Yosemite Valley instead. We stopped for a few photos and did our best to stay dry until dinner time.
In lieu of staying in a hotel, we'd opted to rent a home from homeaway.com. It was one of the best travel decisions we could've made. The house had a hot tub, pool table, fully equipped kitchen, and even laundry services all for a price comparable to a hotel.
Over the next few days we hiked to the top of America's tallest waterfall, tested the Focus ST fully loaded at 10,000 feet, and even drove through some light snow next to the highest summit in the contiguous United States. Stay tuned for more highlights of the nature-filled Focus fun.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 10,952 miles